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Tuesday Items

-- John Gasaway looks at how things have shaped up in conference play so far. You may not want to click on that link, actually.

While all the indicators point to us floundering down the stretch, there's still a tiny voice in the back of my mind considering a different possibility. We've had some incredibly good fortune to this point (13th in luck factor, or as I prefer it, Grant Score), and we're big time frauds even at a modest 13-6 (2-3). Five-and-eleven or 6-10 seem the most likely outcomes, but there are so many indistinguishably so-so teams in the league that it's at least slightly possible we luck our way to 8-8 via a handful of close wins. That's what I'm going to keep telling myself, anyway. It's easier to be in denial.

[Update: More discussion along these lines goin' on at SFN today.]

-- The New York Times profiles Daryl Morey, GM of the Houston Rockets:

"We track everything imaginable," Morey said. "Each pick-and-roll, what’s the result of it? Each guy on the floor, how efficient they are. A lot of it, we end up not using. But we track it so that we have it available in case the question comes up where it becomes relevant."

Whatever revelations Morey has found for assessing players, they remain proprietary for now. But at the team level, he said, there are four statistics that are now widely accepted as indicative of a team’s success rate: "effective" field-goal percentage (a combination of 2-point and 3-point percentages), rebounding and turnover rates (which determine how many more possessions a team gets), and free-throw edge (in attempts, not percentage).

The Houston Press also wrote an excellent piece on Morey back in November. (My thanks to the APBRmetrics forum for the head's up on both.)

-- I enjoyed this from Bambale Osby:

"It wouldn’t be nothing for me to go back to the ghetto," said Osby, who said he grew up in a violent section of Richmond. "That’s where my mom lives, so if [the fan] wants to come on down, she can join me. It’s just ignorance. Going back to the ghetto, who knows where all of us are from? All of us could be from Alaska or something."

There are no coulds about it, if you ask Gary Williams.

-- NC State wrestler Ty Roach pretty smart:

While he doesn't remember his SAT score, he said he took an IQ test in 10th grade and received a score of 151.

"I guess technically I am a genius," Roach said.